Dried Shrimp: Camarón Seco

Dried shrimp are used not only for the Caldo de Camarón, or Shrimp Soup or Broth. They are  also used to make shrimp patties that are then bathed in different mole sauces. Also to prepare tamales, rice, bean and potato dishes.  Even some salsas that used them ground as a seasoning and thickening base.

Dried shrimp come in different sizes, from the miniature ones smaller than 1/2″ to much larger ones bigger than 3″. Because they are lightly cooked, then salted and left to dry in the sun, they concentrate their flavor intensely and deeply. They are also quite salty.

In Mexico, you can find them in outdoor markets as well as mainstream grocery stores. Here in the US, I’ve found them in Asian and Latin stores. They are also easy to find online.  However, go for those that have this light pale color. Don’t go for the pink or red kind that seem too lump and meaty. Good quality dried shrimp should be almost flat and colorless. They have been dehydrated, so that’s what they should look like.

They last in the pantry for months and months and are considered, just like dried chiles, almost a spice. To use them, they are typically soaked in water for 5 to 10 minutes, rinsed, drained, heads and legs removed and then cooked. They have an unmistakeable and unique strong flavor.


12comments inDried Shrimp: Camarón Seco

  1. Meg McAlister

    Mar 20

    Hi, Pati. Just wanted to let you know that Louisiana produces high quality dried shrimp used in Cajun recipes such as soups and stews, and crumbled and sprinkled on top of dishes for a burst of salty sea taste. I love them! Love your show and cookbooks, too!

    1. Pati

      Mar 21

      Thank you for sharing Meg.

  2. Adriana R. Fontenot

    Dec 09

    hola Pati te saludo con mucho carino para decirte que he visto el show en la television junto con mi suegra que es filipina y nos encanta tu forma de cocinar a parte que yo soy de Mexico y quiciera saber algunas recetas de lo que has cocinado cuando te he hemos visto en la television, el dia 8 de diciembre estuvimos viendo en el programa que cocinaste un pescado parecia a vapor y una sopa de elotes, te agradeceria de antemano saber cual es la receta, de la misma forma te mandamos un saludo carinoso mi suegra y yo, yo me llamo Adriana R. Fontenot muchas gracias y muchisimas felicidades por tu programa.

  3. Maria de Lourdes Zendejas

    Nov 12

    Hola Pati: Me encanta tu show. No me lo pierdo. Gracias por compartir tus recetas con nosotros.
    Gracias tambien por traernos paisajes tan hermosos de Mexico . Maria de Lourdes Zendejas

    1. Pati

      Nov 15

      Mil gracias, Maria!

  4. Charmain

    Feb 11

    Hola Pati, you can find dry Shrimp & Fish almost all swamp meets in California. It’s $30. A pound by when you want it you buy it. Love it.

  5. Ita

    Nov 07

    Hola Pati,
    I’m a mexican who lives in Australia. Sea food is wonderful here… but fresh.
    Would you know how to make dry shrimp at home.
    It’s almost imposible to find it dry.

    1. Pati

      Nov 22

      ​Oh, then you should make the fish with fresh shrimp, but make sure to peel them! Make the broth with the heads, shells and tails, and then add shrimp on the end :)​

    2. Dulce

      May 02

      I find mine on Chinese stores, they have it dry too!!

  6. Maria Isabelle

    Mar 01

    Mrs. Jinich, Since watching your show, you have greatly inspired me to cook with more flair and ease. I had fallen into a rut, easy but not so wonderful. My Mother was an amazing cook, whether it was Mexican food or Asian, American, etc. My Mother, was a fantastic cook. You remind me of her, in that she was a cut above. Everyone said so. One item, I miss is her Tortas de Camaron, with a Nopales sauce. I have rarely had them out, I haven’t been successful in years. I am divorced, but my first husband was from Mexico, and to date, after 20 years divorced, he first mentions how much he misses my great cooking! A gift I had to cultivate from Momma, but it was as I was so used to eating good! Your style dispels the common myths about Mexican food that have been magnified by the commercialism of Mexican food. I have had very few Restaurants that are great, two I found in Mexico.
    But have not visited in quite a while. Your thoughts and menus are much anticipated. God Bless you and your family.
    Maria Isabelle Aguirre

    1. Pati

      Mar 03

      Hola Maria, Thank you for your message! I love hearing about your mother’s cooking, and I’m happy you are following in her footsteps!! Keep cooking.

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